If you follow Kicheko on instagram or shopped us online, you may have seen announcements that we moved spaces in the beginning of the year from our coworking loft at 52 O St Studios to a small but mighty space in Brookland. A few months in the making figuring out furniture, flow and what a Kicheko space IRL would look like, we held a soft opening in late February to test the store out and say, "hello, it's me." On March 9th and 10th, we kicked off the grand opening of our new studio + shop with friends, family and our local Kicheko community.
Maximizing our 380 sq feet to fit both parties Friday evening and Saturday, our new space includes our studio production space and a street-facing retail footprint on the Arts Walk located right off the metro and within walking distance from several universities and a great neighborhood with community feel. We know that many of you live outside of D.C. and/or travel a lot but I wanted to share some highlights and thoughts about this new chapter in the business journey.
Fortunately, it was a sunshiny day for the grand opening. Converting the space from a happy hour setting to a full day affair demanded a different layout. My husband and I arrived early to set the space, Jen arrived to take photos, and we were soon ready to open doors. From 10a-4p, we welcomed the public into our space and had interactive points for guests to enjoy coffee, writing station prompts, polaroids, French 75 cocktail, jewelry-inspired cookies, and an accent nail station.
A big thank you to these amazing sponsors who donated product, time and badass talent to make the grand opening a memorable one and a success.
Morning Coffee by Fox Loves Taco
French 75 Cocktail Collab by True Syrups
Custom Cookies Inspired by Kicheko's button earrings + designs by Sweetri Bakeshop
Accent Nail Designs Inspired by the spring collection by Marnae
Check out and support these awesome local businesses and artists.
Friends + Family Happy Hour
On Friday evening, I hosted a happy hour for friends + family as a thank you to this lovely group of friends and colleagues for coming alongside Kicheko, whether from the beginning or more recently but in a significant way. Each of these people has encouraged, advised, challenged and supported the company but also me personally as a female founder, women of color, women of faith, and business owner. Through friendship, mentoring sess over drinks, purchasing a piece of Kicheko from all the seasons, or collaborating on a product or event - each person in that room and also those who couldn't make it mean so much to me and without whom, this business journey wouldn't be as sweet. Thankfully, the fairy lights that my husband skillfully installed one long and late night, added to the ambiance. Our guests were also able to shop the spring collection early before its online launch. Thankful for our happy hour sponsors, Sospeso + Wardman Wines for their delicious and generous contributions. To end the evening on a sweet note, I ordered a gold drip coconut and passionfruit curd cake from Buttercream Bakery for dessert. It did not disappoint. The vibes in the room were poppin' and the weekend was off to a great start.
Shoutout to our Amazing Sponsors
Guests were able to shop the spring collection before its online launch.
Throughout the day, we welcomed friends, friends of friends, supporters and brand fans from all the way back during our days at farmers markets to more recent events and fairs. We enjoyed sharing the space and chatting away. However, a big surprise was seeing my in-laws and my mom walk up to the shop. They drove down that morning from New Jersey and coordinated with my husband to keep this a surprise. My brother-in-law, sister-in-law and her family also wrote messages. It was a lovely surprise sharing the day with family who have been a constant presence and support from the beginning.
The day went by in a flash but felt I was able to enjoy many moments. There were moments where I wanted to be in all places at once to continue that conversation or spend more time with that person. As I looked around, I marveled at this village of people who have come around to move this idea of Kicheko forward and help me make this into a substantial entity, a place of connection and inspiration, and a business that I'm able to make a humble living from, and more so, help support children in Congo to attend school year round. It's not easy a lot of the time but there are moments like these that are full of beauty, connection and light - and I remember that I can do this, that my art and the business have come so far from button earrings and sewn scarves, and that I will keep growing with and alongside others. People give this dream a heartbeat and in addition to this beautiful group of people above to thank, I want to shoutout and thank:
Katie, Marcella, Amy and Obi - for pointing me towards this space and encouraging me to apply
Stephanie and Dean - for your constancy over the years and your make-it-happen attitude to bring our ideas to life and with organization :)
Jen - for your friendship and your amazing presence over the weekend taking photos, doing instastories and being an invaluable part of the team
James - for all the ways you show up, love me, make me laugh, keep me sane. thank you for your support and partnership all these years
Doxily - Jenny, Jill and Lisa - thank you for your consistent voices, truth, laughter and authenticity in my life. thank you also for having wine on a carpet when the space was a shell on a cold winter's day and thank you for helping me put furniture together.
Amira - your friendship over these last months has meant so much to me. i am learning from you always and treasure our morning walks.
You - if you made it to the bottom, i see you! thank you thank you for being a part of this journey with us. truly wouldn't be able to do this without you!
The grand opening came and went and now we are open Wednesday-Friday 12p-7p and Saturday 10a-4p.
Drop us a line or DM on instagram for a visit.
We'd love to have you!